Communicable Disease Plan

Last updated: November 27, 2023

Purpose of the Communicable Disease Plan

This Communicable Disease plan has been created by Aura Office Environments to outline the policies and procedures that have been put in place to protect Aura team members, guests, and others entering the business from the potential transmission of Communicable diseases. This plan follows the WorkSafeBC four step process for developing a Communicable Disease Plan and aligns with current Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders and WorkSafeBC requirements.

Aura will review the latest orders and WorkSafeBC requirements on a regular basis, as any changes may need to be incorporated into this plan.


Aura Office Environments ownership and management are responsible for the development of this plan including risk assessments, supporting policies, monitoring, and adapting the plan and addressing team member concerns. Ownership and management are also responsible for Communicable Disease Plan training and communication to our team members before and during their employment.

All Aura team members and contractors will follow this safety plan as a condition of employment. All guests must follow this safety plan as a condition of visiting our property.

The Director of People and Culture is responsible for implementing this communicable disease plan throughout the workplace.

Team members are responsible for participating in the development, implementation, and ongoing sustainment of the Communicable Disease Plan. If team members have any concerns regarding this plan they are to bring them to the attention of the Director of People and Culture.

Identify the Risks

A communicable disease is an illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxic product that can be transmitted in a workplace from one person to another. Examples of communicable disease that may circulate in a workplace include COVID-19, norovirus, and seasonal influenza. There may be certain times of the year when the risk of an outbreak within the workplace is elevated and at those time additional safety measures may need to be implemented to ensure any communicable disease exposure is minimized. The following indoor areas have been identified as areas where team members and/or guests may gather or have considerable interaction, which may create elevated risk of infection:

  • Galapagos Boardroom, Kitchen/dining area

The following in office tasks bring our team members close to one another or to clients:

  • Meetings, training sessions

The following tools, machinery and equipment have been identified as items that employees and/or clients share:

  • Office Equipment, Kitchen Utensils/equipment

The following items have been identified as high touch surfaces:

  • Doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches.

Control the Risks

The main aim is to reduce the risk of communicable disease spreading through droplets in the air as well as being transmitted via workplace surfaces. Therefore, any controls that are adopted should always reflect that. Different controls will offer varying levels of protection and the preferred option is always the control that offers the highest level of protection. This approach to controlling risks is referred to as the “hierarchy of controls”. This process involves assessing the likelihood of harm or injury associated with different hazards (something with the potential to cause harm or injury) which together formulate the risk.

In some cases, it may be necessary to combine different levels of protection, in order to control one particular risk. An example of this, in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, is to install barriers to separate people (engineering control) and to wear a mask (personal protective equipment).

Types of risk controls

Aura Office|Communicable Disease Plan

Elimination or Substitution are the highest, most effective levels of control and involve removing the risk of exposure to a given hazard entirely or substituting a hazard for something that is less harmful.

We may implement the following controls to limit the number of people in our workplace and to ensure physical distancing:

  • Working remotely/from home, virtual meetings, lowering occupancy limits, limiting in person client meetings,

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Engineering controls include placing physical barriers between people when physical distancing cannot be maintained and ensuring adequate ventilation and air circulation within buildings.

We have addressed ventilation and air circulation in the following areas:

  • We have confirmed with our landlord, Cadillac Fairview that the HVAC systems at 609 Granville is up to the required standard as per PHO recommendations.

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Administrative controls: the rules, training, guidelines and signage we have put in place to educate people on how to control the spread of communicable disease in the workplace.

We may put the following administrative controls in place:

  • information posters within the workplace, occupancy limit signage, physical distancing, and mask reminder posters

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): This is the least effective option in terms of protection and should be considered if the higher levels of protection don’t allow you to adequately control the risk. PPE should be used in addition to other control measures and not in isolation.

Face coverings may be worn in common areas including lobbies or foyers, elevators, hallways and stairwells, bathrooms, and meeting rooms. We strongly recommend the use of face coverings to be used in those areas throughout the workplace in order to provide, an additional layer of protection. The PHO definition of a “face covering” means either a medical or non-medical mask, or tightly woven fabric that tightly covers the nose and mouth of a person.

We may put the following PPE controls in place:

  • Face coverings are mandatory for everyone in public indoor settings: Meetings rooms and the kitchen/dining area when it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2 meters between individuals
  • Face coverings are required for all workers when working in staff common areas

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Deliver Policies and Procedures

Clear policies and procedures help to ensure that the identified controls are being followed within the workplace and establish the minimum requirements. They may include arrangements for who can and cannot be at the workplace, how to deal with illness in the workplace, cleaning, and personal hygiene protocols, first aid provision, and managing potential violence in the workplace.

Workplace Vaccination Policies

Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace for staff and have obligations based on human rights, employment standards and common law considerations. Vaccinations are strongly encouraged by public health and although we have not implemented any mandatory vaccination policies, we may request all employees to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status during a pandemic.

Healthy Workers Policy

Aura supports all team members only reporting to onsite work if they are in good health and not experiencing any communicable disease symptoms. Team members must always follow guidance from Public Health regarding needs for self-isolation and self-monitoring. Topics to consider when assessing oneself for on-site work include having symptoms of a communicable disease or if you are a close contact of someone with a communicable disease. During a time of elevated risk all team members may be asked to complete a health assessment prior to arrival at the office or worksite and check their temperature with the contact free thermometer provided for this purpose upon arrival.

Anyone displaying any symptoms must not attend the workplace and is encouraged to partake in any Self-Assessment Tools provided and/or call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 for further direction from Public Health.

If any worker becomes ill at the worksite, they are to don a mask and report to the onsite First Aid attendant. The worker will be isolated from the other workers on the worksite and arrangements will be made for them to go home whether that be by them driving themselves home, or a member of their household transporting them home. Remember to follow community guidelines for the use of transit and ride share companies.

All team members are eligible to use sick leave during their absence.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing includes limiting close contact with other people. This can be achieved by limiting one’s interactions with others all together and providing extra space (2 meters) with other who you cannot avoid all together. Sometimes, 2 meters will not be practicable which is where engineering controls such as barriers must be used, and non-face-to-face interaction is encourage (i.e., phone calls or emails).

Team members should attempt to maintain a distance of 2 meters between, themselves and their co-workers at all times. Visitors to the office should be limited as much as possible.

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Hand Washing

Regular hand washing is an important step in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Aura team members must wash their hands when they arrive at the workplace, before and after breaks, after coughing, sneezing, or touching the face, after using the washroom and before leaving work. Soap and water are preferred, but hand sanitizer with at least a 70% alcohol base can be used when soap and water is unavailable, or as an additional control.

Hand Sanitizer is readily available throughout the office and SDS information is available in the SDS Binder displayed adjacent to the Aura Safety Notice Board

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Cleaning and Disinfection

The cleaning and disinfection of the workplace including high-contact surfaces in restricted and Client-facing work environments is an important part of keeping the workplace safe from COVID-19 transmission. Cleaning and disinfection are often referred to as a “two-stage” process. Cleaning removes visible surface dirt and debris, whereas disinfection destroys bacteria and viruses.

All high touch surfaces should be cleaned daily, using disinfectant to ensure the risk of transmission is minimized. Cleaning supplies are available and the related SDS information can be located at the SDS station

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First Aid

All Aura first aid attendants must follow the WorkSafeBC Occupational First Aid Attendants (OFAA) guidelines when responding to a first aid emergency in the workplace.

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Workplace Violence

The potential for violence exists whenever there is direct interaction between workers and others. Employers must provide a workplace as safe from the threat of violence as possible. If there is a risk of violence in a workplace, the employer must set up and instruct workers on procedures to eliminate or minimize the risks. Some of these tendencies may be more likely to manifest when individuals are dealing with elevated levels of stress and uncertainty, consistent with the pandemic situation.

Please refer to Aura’s Health and Safety Management Plan to view the Workplace Violence Prevention Policy

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Elevated Risk Additional Measures

Additional measures may need to be implemented during elevated risk, whether identified within your business itself, small community, or greater community at large.

The Director of People and Culture will be responsible for remaining vigilant and monitoring community public health announcements including the introduction of PHO orders and recommendations for our area

Communication and Training

Everyone within the workplace must understand how to keep themselves and others safe. Training should include the need to stay at home when sick, understanding occupancy limits, hand washing procedures, how to wear a face covering properly, who is permitted to enter the workplace, and how workers can provide feedback. Supervisors should be trained on how to monitor workers to ensure that policies and procedures are being followed. The Communicable Disease Plan will be communicated to workers by providing a copy of the plan to them, reviewing it with them, posting a copy in the workplace as well as posting it somewhere visible on your company’s website (for staff and public to view).

The Director of People and Culture will be responsible for providing training on the Communicable Disease Plan and ensuring that all team members are aware of the elements of the policy and how to remain compliant.

Updating the Communicable Disease Plan and Monitoring the Workplace

The Director of People and Culture is responsible for implementing this Communicable Disease Plan throughout the workplace.

The Director of People and Culture is responsible for reviewing and updating this Communicable Disease Plan quarterly or following a workplace outbreak of a communicable disease, or whenever Provincial Health Officer orders, other government requirements and WorkSafeBC protocols change. What is essential is that our Communicable Disease Plan is reviewed and continually revised to keep pace with changes at the workplace since its original development and implementation.

Ensuring Ongoing Training and Monitoring

Training on this Communicable Disease Plan will be included when bringing back team members following a period of absence as well as distributed to current team members.

This Safety Plan will be reviewed and revised, as required, to reflect any:

  • Changes to job scope which may affect the plan,
  • New areas of concern or the identification of something that isn’t working,
  • Health and safety concerns raised through a worker representative or joint health and safety committee,
  • Changes to Provincial Health Officer orders or other government and industry requirements that affect the plan.